Bonzai is an up-and-coming, 20 year-old, Dublin, Ireland-based electro pop artist, whose musical career began in earnest with a stint as a backing vocalist for another up-and-coming pop artist NAO, whose management introduced her to up-and-coming, 20 year-old, British hip-hop/electro pop producer and multi-instrumentalist Mura Masa. The British producer was so impressed by the Irish pop artist that he began a collaboration that resulted in two critically applauded EPs 2015’s Royah and 2016’s Sleep Hungry, both of which were released through Mura Masa’s Anchor Point Records. And with a growing bit of buzz surrounding her, Columbia Records signed Bonzai, and recently released her third and latest EP Lunacy.
Reportedly, Bonzai’s latest effort thematically focuses on crossed and confused love, youthful anger, pride and swagger, as well as revealing an artist whose songwriting has begun to possess a deepening sophistication — while continuing her ongoing collaboration with Mura Masa. As you’ll hear on “I Did,” the latest single off Lunacy pairs Mura Masa’s swaggering futuristic and incredibly unique production style comprised of industrial clang and clatter, stuttering and skittering beats, staccato cascades of hot, neon synths with Bonzai’s swaggering, self-assured vocal style, which nods at a young Missy Elliot. As the Irish pop artist explains “I wrote ‘I Did’ about some people I felt were jealous of me and I what I was doing cause they think they’re better than me and you know that might be true but I did something with myself and they did not.” She later explains on the incredibly technicolor and psychedelic animated video directed by Tom Bunker, which features Bonzai’s cartoon avatar running through a surreal, dream-like jungle, “the video is meant to depict a journey to success, the tree being the tough climb to the top and the voyage through space at the end being the sweet victory.”
As the video’s producer Tom Bunker adds “The original idea for the video came out of a discussion illustrator Pete Sharp and I had with Cassia [a.k.a. Bonzai) about the track It follows themes that Bonzai puts across in the track about progression in life and moving away from negativity, which could be resentment from your peers or a giant smoke monster that lives in a log. It’s a pretty relatable struggle either way. For the jungle sequences, a lot of the plant and wildlife were a mishmash of different fruits and flowers which Pete took from old Botanical drawings and references of exotic animals.”